Thursday, September 17, 2015

DIY Shirt (Name Tag)

I recently made DIY bridal tanks for my friend's bridal shower (using freezer paper). I had Vinyl that I wanted to use to make a shirt for my son. I upgraded my Cricut Expression to the Explore. I haven't used it much but I LOVE IT! It was a birthday gift to myself ... and TODAY is actually my birthday! I took the day off. Had lunch with my husband (alone for once) and unloaded a few rounds at the shooting range. After picking up our oldest, I decided it was time to start on the shirt. I saw this tutorial online recently and have been dying to make one! 

I found a name tag on Design Space for $0.99 cents. Ugh hello!?! The whole point of me purchasing the Explore was so I can upload my own images! So, I searched online and found some random one and edited it in Photoshop so that it was the right file (for where it will cut). Here's the link to it (hope it works!). 

I had my son sign his name on a white piece of paper and also made that a digital file in Photoshop. I checked out a couple of tutorials online from PHLEARN & Jack Lewis (random search) on how to make an electronic signature.

I'm so happy with how it turned out! 

I used Design Space to create the design, cut it on the Cricut Explore (mirror image option) and ironed it onto a shirt I bought from Walmart for $2.

What I used: 

Iron On Vinyl
Cricut Explore

What I did:

So... Once I got the files (signature and name tag) onto my computer, I uploaded it to Design Space. I followed the instructions on the vinyl...

Create design in Design Space. Mine was about 4x7 inches. His shirt is boy's 6-7. 

What I didn't know (only used this twice) is that you have to choose the "cut" option which is the scissors icon. When I uploaded the files, it was on print as default.

The liner (shiny) side is placed down on the Cricut mat. Set the Explore to Vinyl (love this option!). When cutting iron on vinyl, you need to check the "mirror image" option so it's the right side when you iron it on. 

Then you "weed" out any white parts you don't want to iron. 

Place vinyl side down on the shirt (shiny side/liner on top). 

Set iron to Linen/Cotton and turn OFF steam. 

Use another fabric between the vinyl and iron. Press for 25-30 seconds and turn around and do the same on the back.

Peel off the liner.

I'm still learning how to use this but I have no doubt that I will LOVE it.
I don't know why I still expect him to "stay still" when I ask HAHA

Looking at me through his binoculars.

He said he was a monkey... I'm not convinced. 

DIY Ladder Ball Stand

So hubby wanted a ladder ball game for our camp trips. He purchased some balls on clearance and since it seemed pretty easy to make the stands, I did. The total cost for the PVC pipes were about $17 at Home Depot. I've seen them made in slightly different sizes but most of them were 2 feet  wide and 1 foot in between each level. I just went off this tutorial. Below is what I used for 2 stands.


5 - 10 foot 3/4" PVC pipes
12 Elbow Connectors 
12 "T" Connectors
PVC Cutter
Measuring Tape
Glue (if you plan to glue them together)
Spray Paint


Cut your PVC pipes in the following sizes

18 - 24 inch pieces (9 each stand)
12 - 12 inch pieces (6 each stand)

Mark your pipes and cut all the pieces. You'll ended up with an extra 24" piece.

My cute little helper. Okay, more like... destroyer! I sent his older brothers outside to play after dinner. So it's just me & him.

Put them together and you're done! Okay, I'm not done because I want to paint parts of it. 

I decided I don't want to glue them because we'll take them apart and put it in a bag to transport when we go camping.

When I finished them, little man thought it would be fun to push it around like a walker... I guess he's just practicing walking (on his knees!). Hopefully he'll master that soon!

Now, let's paint! When I searched, they were mostly primary colors - blue, yellow and red. I wanted to go with other colors ^_^ - Orange, Yellow and a lighter blue.

I was having some issues with wind blowing on my drop cloth and ruining the paint on the PVC... I didn't think this through and had to get the pipes off the ground using rocks. Guess we'll have color rock added back into our landscape!

Fun for my boys!

Friday, September 11, 2015

DIY Ice Pack & Cover

We spent the weekend in Tahoe at Sugar Pine Point for Labor Day weekend. Surprisingly, no one got seriously injured or cut, bruises, etc.... that's until we got home. While my oldest was chasing his brother around, the little one slipped and banged his head on the banister. It looked really bad but it didn't bleed (barely) and it looked more like it was dented... eventually it bounced back to it's original shape. I'm surprised that he wasn't crying as much as I would have!

Anyway, this is when I realized I need to make another ice pack... for the kids. I could use one too because I started my allergy shots a couple of months ago and on very low dosages but I keep having a reaction so they recommend using an ice pack to sooth the local reaction from the shots (ouch).

If you haven't made ice packs before, there's several ways to do it but years ago when I use to deal with plugged ducts from nursing, the lactation nurse recommended using rubbing alcohol and water. This was pre-Pinterest! 

All you need is 1 part rubbing alcohol and 3 parts water.  Put this mixture in a Ziploc bag. I don't recommend using thin generic zip bags. I like the thicker Ziploc brand especially if the closure has two "zippers". For fun, you can add food coloring for the kiddos. Let them help because my little boys love to help me with everything. Wait, they don't always like to help clean! So, I take that back, they don't love to help with everything.

And what fun way to use the ice pack than to make a soft cover for it using flannel fabric.I purchased tons of fabric while I was pregnant. I couldn't resist the 70% off sales they have for flannel from time to time at JoAnn's Fabric. It ends up being less than $2 a yard sometimes!


Fabric (Something soft)
Scissors or fabric cutter
Sewing Machine 
Coordinating thread


My quart Ziploc measured approx. 7x8 inches. One end will need to be slightly longer because it will fold over (you'll see).

Cut your fabric to size. I cut mine 9x18 inches.

Fold edges in about 1/4 inches and pin. Then sew around.

Fold one end up leaving 1.5 inches. Fold the flap down and pin edges.

Sew the two sides. The ice pack is in there (it's hard to tell). 

Just so we're clear. I'm no expert in sewing... my lines are never straight and most of the time, I have no idea what I'm doing. I make these for my personal use and so it's okay if they're imperfect :)